Posts Tagged ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’

Double o’ nothing reviews “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”…

March 8, 2010

Last week, double o’ nothing reviewed “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

Below is the link to the review. You should definitely give it a read…

“From Big Fry to the small time, George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Well done, Dublo.

Advertisements

Watchmakers International sponsors Ian Fleming’s Rolex in Bond Exhibit‏

February 15, 2010

COLUMBIA, PA:  For over 50 years, James Bond fans have had the need to know what watch Agent 007 wears. Fans fantasize:  They are James Bond when wearing his watch.

Vintage Rolex watches — similar to the Sean Connery Submariner in Dr. No, the George Lazenby pre-Daytona chronograph in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the Rolex Explorer worn by the literary Bond and author Ian Fleming — can be restored today to their original performance standards.

Bob Ridley of Watchmakers International gives a new lease on life to even the oldest (and most desirable) James Bond Rolex models, including those originally worn in the earliest Eon Productions films. Watchmakers International has also signed on as exclusive sponsor for display of Ian Fleming’s personal Rolex 1016 Explorer throughout the upcoming National Watch & Clock Museum exhibit, “Bond Watches, James Bond Watches,” June 18, 2010, through April 30, 2011.

“These watches were meant to be worn,” says Ridley.  “My team makes that possible.”

This is particularly important to Bond watch owners.  “When I approached Bob with my own 1016 Explorer, my hope was that he could take it to a point where I could wear it on special occasions without a lot of worry,” recalls Dell Deaton, guest curator of the James Bond Watches exhibit.  “Bob said he could bring it back to a standard where I could wear it every day, the way it was designed to be worn.”

Vintage Rolex Explorer 1016 wristwatch with original Radium dial — just like James Bond wore in the 1963 novel, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Background items include a copy of that first edition book, a pre-publication Uncorrected Proof, and the very first publication of this story (part 1 of 3) in the April 1963 issue of Playboy magazine. Photo copyright http://www.jamesbondwatches.com, 2010.

“If you think about the 6538 Submariner that fans associate with the movie Goldfinger,” Ridley adds, “these Rolex watches are increasingly hard to find in any condition.  Proper functional restoration often begins by addressing neglect, water damage, and quite frequently the need to back-out previous misdirected repair issues.  With that, we almost always have to source Rolex parts or fabricate corrections based on a watch that even the most experienced Rolex researchers haven’t seen more than a handful of times in an entire career.

“By focusing only on the Rolex brand, we’ve developed that necessary familiarity.  We’ve also earned a respectable interface with Rolex technical support departments, with which we exchange information.”

At the same time, Watchmakers International brings a true collector’s eye to restorations — balancing desired performance against a commitment to retain investment value.  “The dial on my 1016 Explorer is cracking,” Dell Deaton notes.  “But replacement and even refinishing are out of the question:  My Rolex is just like what Ian Fleming saw on his wrist when he wrote that ‘Bond glanced at his watch’ in the final pages of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  That’s what I will still want to see after any work on it is done.”

“I gave Dell a number of proprietary options we’ve come up with for arresting the deterioration without any visual change to aesthetics,” Bob Ridley explains.  “These are things we have done for Watchmakers International clients that we’ve served for many, many years; the proof of longevity is reconfirmed upon intake inspection each time one of these watches comes back now for routine maintenance.”

“The addition of Bob Ridley, personally, and Watchmakers International, as a sponsor, raises an already high bar on what we expect this exhibit to deliver,” says Noel Poirier, director of the National Watch & Clock Museum.  “As an international association and repository for horology, our Museum and this exhibit can both show a great range of Bond-affiliated wristwatches, and then go beyond that to provide a great depth of understanding about how many of them functioned then and now, their design evolution paths, and, in particular to the Ian Fleming Rolex 1016 Explorer and related pieces, what their present condition tells them about their service to wearers as timekeepers.

“Watchmakers International is the ideal sponsor for the Ian Fleming Rolex as part of our ‘Bond Watches, James Bond Watches’ exhibit.  We’re truly honored to have them be a part of this.”

Watchmakers International is the exclusive sponsor for bringing the original Ian Fleming Rolex Explorerer 1016 to the entire run of this year-long exhibit.  With over 30 years experience in fine wristwatch work, certified horologist Bob Ridley offers a unique balance of technical skill, resources, and an understanding of value-aesthetics to the sole of his business:  Vintage Rolex restoration.  See www.watchmakers.com for more information.

Dell Deaton is guest curator of this “Bond Watches, James Bond Watches” exhibition and author-creator of www.jamesbondwatches.com.  He is a member of both the National Watch & Clock Association and American Marketing Association, and an internationally recognized expert on Ian Fleming and James Bond horology.

“Bond Watches, James Bond Watches” will be unveiled at the NAWCC Annual Convention on June 17, 2010, and runs June 18, 2010, through April 30, 2011, in Columbia, PA.

The National Watch and Clock Museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association close to 20,000 members, representing 52 countries. April through November the Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  December through March hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounts are available to seniors, students, AAA members, and groups of 10 or more. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call ahead.  For more program information, directions, or general Museum information, call 717-684-8261 or visit our website at www.nawcc.org.

40th Anniversary ::: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

December 22, 2009

40 years ago this month, an Australian actor/model by the name of  George Lazenby had stepped into the role of the world’s greatest secret agent – James Bond, after Sean Connery had retired from the part [for the first time] in 1967.

Directed by Peter Hunt (the editor of the earlier Bond films) and written by Richard Maibaum, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service put 007 face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, Ernest Stavro Blofeld, and his plan to use biological warfare to threaten the world. During the mission, Bond meets Tracy di Vicenzo, a countess whose courage and charismatic spirit earns her the title of  Mrs. James Bond.

At its premiere on December 18th, 1969, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square in London, UK, the film proved to be  faithful to Ian Fleming’s original novel. With a budget of $7 million, and a run time of 140 minutes, George Lazenby’s first and last James Bond outing ended up grossing around $87 million worldwide.

You can read my review of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service here.

Life Magazine: Unpublished James Bond Auditions

December 20, 2009

Who Would Be James Bond?

In the early ’60s, movie producers adapting Ian Fleming’s novels about a suave British spy named James Bond plucked a relative unknown, Sean Connery, out of obscurity and offered him the role of a lifetime. And when Connery left the franchise after five movies, the hunt for Bond was on again. LIFE sent photographer Loomis Dean to the final casting sessions for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (released 40 years ago this week), and the magazine published a handful of those photos. But some of the choicest frames — Bond wannabes suiting up, holding guns, drinking martinis, wooing women — have never been seen…until now.


UNPUBLISHED: James Bond Auditions


This is a very interesting piece by Life Magazine. It’s fun to see who could’ve been Bond #2. Of all the candidates, though, I’d only choose one above George Lazenby, and that’s Robert Campbell. He really looked the part, but I’ve no idea if he was a good actor. It would be great if they’d release the photos in a book.

Ian Fleming’s Original Manuscripts Part of Upcoming Exhibit at Watch and Clock Museum

December 17, 2009

COLUMBIA, PA: Ian Fleming carefully kept the original manuscripts for his James Bond thrillers, in addition to pre-publication book proofs and author’s copies that include summary notes in his own handwriting. For researchers and fans, these represent incredible views into the origins of the 007 character and the mind of his fascinating creator.

A sampling from among these one-of-a-kind texts will be displayed as part of the Bond Watches, James Bond Watches exhibit at the National Watch & Clock Museum, opening June 17, 2010. This loan was made possible by special arrangement with the Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

“We can tell a lot by looking at the actual pages as Mr. Fleming hammered them out at the keys of his Imperial portable typewriter,” notes Dell Deaton of JamesBondWatches.com and guest curator for the Bond Watches exhibit. “The ‘Rolex’ reference in Live and Let Die, for example, is first-draft. That, then, specifically dates it to February or March of 1953 — and establishes a context for examining the role that his friend Commander Jacques Cousteau may have had in providing input on the brand.

"Live and Let Die," original manuscript as first typed by Ian Fleming. To be loaned for display at National Watch & Clock Museum "Bond Watches, James Bond Watches" exhibit, by Lilly Library (Indiana University at Bloomington).

Thunderball, of course, shows how Ian Fleming created the first Bond gadget-watch, in 1960.

“There’s also what we can see as iterations progress. This National Watch & Clock Museum display, for example, will include three versions of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that reveal Fleming’s interesting focus on wristwatch-related details,” Deaton continues. “There’s a curious continuity error that started with the manuscript when it was written at Goldeneye and made it all the way to the ‘Uncorrected Proof’ binding, but which was caught and corrected before the first edition book run and serialized publication in Playboy. We’re planning to show this complete progression as part of this special exhibit.”

"On Her Majesty's Secret Service," as bound by Ian Fleming for his personal collection. To be loaned for display at National Watch & Clock Museum "Bond Watches, James Bond Watches" exhibit, by Lilly Library (Indiana University at Bloomington).

The original James Bond manuscripts, author’s first editions, and other materials were acquired by the Lilly Library in 1970. Thus, the Bond Watches, James Bond Watches exhibit will mark the first time in four decades that the original 007 wristwatch (Ian Fleming’s Rolex 1016 Explorer) and the 1962 manuscript in which it is referenced will be displayed together.

“The National Watch & Clock Museum is extremely grateful to Indiana University and its Lilly Library for the loan of these materials,” Museum Director Noel Poirier adds. “Through the years, we’ve been able to enter into cooperative exchanges such as this with a variety of other institutions, expanding the reach in sharing what we’ve preserved from the history of timekeeping. It allows us to broaden the context of exhibits such as this, showing not just the watches, but the culture and period in which they were important.”

Dell Deaton is the creator-author of JamesBondWatches.com and guest curator for this Bond Watches, James Bond Watches exhibition. He is a member of both the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors and American Marketing Association, and a recognized expert on Ian Fleming and James Bond horology. Previously he was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors that governs the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, and served three terms on the editorial advisory board for Exhibitor Publications.

The National Watch and Clock Museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association with close to 20,000 members, representing 52 countries. April through November the Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  December through March hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounts are available to seniors, students, AAA members, and groups of 10 or more. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call ahead.  For more program information, directions, or general Museum information, call 717-684-8261 or visit our website at www.nawcc.org.

Top 5 — John Barry 007 Scores

June 28, 2009

1. You Only Live Twice – John Barry captures the beauty of Japan in this score. Alongside the sweeping strings, and Far Eastern sounds, this soundtrack is also infused with some great themes. This score delivers music of suspense, romance and action. The sliding bass guitar  also brings the “coolness” of the James Bond theme to a whole different level. To me, this is Barry’s finest score of all time.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “James Bond in Japan” – Track 13
  • “Fight At Kobe Docks / Helga” – Track 3
  • “Mountains and Sunsets” – Track 7



2. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Another brilliant soundtrack by John Barry. This seems to be a score that features one of his earliest uses of synthesizers, and it works extremely well. The score is infused with romantic music that fits the film perfectly. It also features some of the series’ greatest action cues. There’s plenty of music to enjoy on this score.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Main Theme: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Track 6
  • “Battle at Piz Gloria” – Track 10
  • “Try” – Track 3



3. The Living Daylights – John Barry’s last James Bond score, and certainly one of his best. This score relies on synthesizers like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, but the outcome is superb. This score is infused with many melodies, both romantic, suspenseful, and action-packed. This is definitely a perfect 80’s Bond score.

Recommended Tracks:

  • The Sniper Was a Woman – Track 3
  • Mujahadin and Opium – Track 10
  • Assassin and Drugged – Track 16



4. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Though the film was silly, John Barry seemed to have taken the score seriously, as always. Barry offers listeners a haunting theme for the film’s henchmen – the best henchmen theme of the series – and his style matches the sleaziness of the film perfectly. Some cues capture the silliness of the film, also, but I’d say that, overall, this is one of Barry’s more dark scores.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd / Bond to Holland” – Track 14
  • “Gunbarrel and Manhunt” – Track 13
  • “Airport Source / On the Road” – Track 16



5. “Goldfinger” – This is most likely one of Barry’s more popular scores, and for a good reason! Not only does it feature Dame Shirley Bassey’s iconic Bond theme, but it also features a collection of great action and adventure music. This score is very jazzy at times, too. Overall, there’s not much to dislike about this Bond score. It has certainly earned the status of “quintessential”.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Main Theme: Goldfinger” – Track 1
  • “Alpine Drive / Auric’s Factory” – Track 3
  • “Oddjob’s Pressing Engagement” – Track 4

BondStars.com Private Signings (August 2009)

June 22, 2009

I thought I’d post this, as it may interest the Bond autograph/merchandise collectors visiting this blog.

Bondstars.com will be holding private signing sessions with Eunice Gayson (Sylvia Trench of Dr. No and From Russia With Love), Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore of Goldfinger), and Jenny Hanley (Irish Girl of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) on August 23rd, 2009.

A signed item will cost you £26.00, or about $43.00. The links below will take you to the BondStars website, in which you can purchase what you need:

All orders must be received by August 7th, and personal items cannot be signed.

Other instructions can be found at the provided links.

Best of luck! I think I’ll buy the Gayson and Blackman autographs. They’d be a nice addition to my collection.

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Bond

June 21, 2009

Many fans of Ian Fleming’s literary Bond series, and even fans of the films, will know that James Bond married Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo in the novel (and film) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Tragically, though, the bride was slain by Bond’s arch-nemisis — Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

What casual Bond fans may not know is that James Bond goes to settle the score with Blofeld in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

I won’t spoil the entire story for you, but I will say that it is significantly different from the film. Don’t expect James Bond to be flying around in that bright-yellow gyro-copter, made in the quartermaster’s garage.

However, that’s not the point of this article.

I wanted to mention James Bond’s child.

Yes – you read correctly.

Recovering from amnesia in Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, Bond adopts the life of a Japanese merchant with Kissy Suzuki, while he is presumed dead by the rest of the world. During this time period, it’s said that Kissy becomes pregnant after sleeping with James…

However, we don’t hear (or read) anymore of this until Raymond Benson releases his short story, Blast From the Past. Though I haven’t read the short yet, it’s said that James Bond is contacted by his son, James Suzuki, and is asked to meet him New York City on a matter of urgency. When Bond arrives, he finds his son dead — supposedly killed by Irma Bunt

This is all very interesting; though, it seems as if James Bond cannot maintain solid aspects of his personal life. By this, I mean, first of all, his wife Tracy was murdered. He ended up abandoning Kissy Suzuki, obviously. And his one known son is killed. It’s a very tragic case, but surely brings a lot more depth to this character. I’ll have to get around to finding Benson’s story.

So, on this Father’s Day, my suggested reading material includes Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

Before you jump into it, though, I suggest reading Fleming’s Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Combined with You Only Live Twice, these form “the Blofeld trilogy”.

To any fathers reading this, I kindly extend a “Happy Father’s Day” greeting to you.

All the best…

Film Review ::: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"

November 23, 2008

Many seem to hold this film in their number 1 Bond spot. I, on the other hand, cannot do this. While there’s a steady amount of good in this film, I think it has its fair share of bad, too. 

The Good: 
The story; I thought it was outstanding. One of the greatest Bond stories, for sure. Very Bondian, and I think the whole film stuck pretty close to Fleming’s novel, though I haven’t read it for years now. 

Diana Rigg; One of the most beautiful Bond girls, for sure. At first, she came off so genuinely harsh. It was great. But later on, as she fell in love with Bond, she was a very sweet Bond girl. My favorite meeting with her in the film is after Bond’s 1st escape from Piz Gloria. As Bond’s sitting near the ice rink, a girl with blades on comes up to him. We move from the feet, to her face, revealing it’s Tracy- with a beautiful smile on her face. 

The main titles; loved them. They rank up there with “Goldfinger”. 

The soundtrack; My 2nd favorite Barry score. My only complaint about this score is the use of synthesizers. Had they been left out, I’m sure this would tie with my #1 soundtrack spot (alongside “You Only Live Twice”). My favorite cue of this soundtrack is Bond’s escape from Piz Gloria and his chase after Blofeld. The music begins as Blofeld shoots at the world map that Bond is taking pictures of- the music complemented this chase sequence so well. 

This film also had plentys of Bondian traits. It certainly has Bond written all over it, as far as style goes. The visuals are also gorgeous in this film- not as great as locations from “Dr. No” or “You Only Live Twice”, however, I think this ranks up there with them. This film also had some top-notch Bond action. 

The Alright: 
Telly Savalas played an OK Blofeld. I kept thinking of Kojack, but it’s alright. Savalas played the part pretty well. I still like Pleasence’s character more, however. As a side note: everyone says “Can you imagine Pleasence on skis in OHMSS?” To that, I’ll say that Savalas on skis was hardly a pleasure for my eyes. Irma Bunt was quite the henchwoman, too. Very tough, and fit right in with the head of SPECTRE. I’ve got no complaints about her. Reminded me a bit of Rosa Klebb.

The girls at Piz Gloria- they were all beautiful. They weren’t exceptional actresses, however. Overall, they made for quite a sight. I’d say even that Ruby Bartlett, to my own surprise. I took quite a liking to her during this viewing. When you set that mat on her head aside, she’s a gorgeous girl. 

The Bad:
My major dislike- this film’s editing was absolutely atrocious. I thought it seemed like a mess, and was quite disappointed by it. 

The James Bond theme used during the attack of Piz Gloria. It worked when Draco’s men and Bond were moving in, however, it played mostly during Tracy’s fight scene? That didn’t make sense to me. They should’ve used more of Barry’s source music. There was plenty to go ’round. 

The Hilary Bray dubbing. Actually, this whole aspect of the film didn’t make much sense to me either. It seems as if Bond automatically learns to mimic Bray’s voice. 

George Lazenby as James Bond: 
I’ll be frank- I didn’t care for Lazenby’s Bond performance all that much, which is one reason why I can’t rank this film too high in my Bond rankings. I think Lazenby had potential and the looks. However, to me, it seemed like he forced himself to be Bond. It didn’t come on naturally, as it seemed with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Daniel Craig. Something about the way that he delivered lines bothered me too. There were quite a few witty quips in this film, but when delivered by Lazenby, they didn’t have any flare about them. 

All in all, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” certainly proves to be a decent Bond film, but in my opinion, has some major flaws. It’s certainly better than Brosnan’s films, and most of Moore’s… but it’s just not my cup of tea, I suppose. On the other hand, it makes for a great holiday Bond film. 

 

6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10

"A Quantum of Covers" for Children In Need

November 19, 2008

Article Link: BBC Oxford > Children In Need > A Quantum of Covers

 

A Quantum of Covers
The Name’s Bear, Pudsey Bear… 

The BBC Oxford team certainly like their music shaken and not stirred judging by their idea for this year’s BBC Children In Need.

It seems Nobody can do a Children In Need Event better than BBC Oxford Introducing who have brought together eleven of the best Oxfordshire bands you’ve never heard of to record their favourite Bond themes for the appeal.

The album, called a Quantum of Covers is available on iTunes and for every individual track downloaded 49p goes to Children In Need and for every album purchased £4.90 will go to the charity.

And with the likes of former Miss England Eleanor Glynn contributing to an industrial electro version of The Living Daylights with Banbury’s Sikorski to Borderville doing a glam-stomp through the Wings classic Live and Let Die, it is sure to be a hit.

Talking about the charity project and their choice of theme Nobody Does It Better, David Balch, from Witches said: “I think A Quantum of Covers is an excellent idea. Bond is an institution and the themes are such iconic songs, it’s great to be a part of it. Hopefully it’ll raise a load of cash for Children in Need’s work with disadvantaged children.”

Xmas Lights took on the challenge of the Bond theme. James Gray-King of the band commented: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the project and a huge challenge. The main theme has been tackled by so many incredible people over the years that finding a route in and keeping it recognizable while retaining our sound was a really interesting endeavour. I am proud of what we have done and very proud that it is for a worthy cause…”

Sikorski joined forces with their own Bond girl and former Miss England Eleanor Glynn for the Living Daylights, with Jan and Darren saying: “We really enjoyed the process of reinterpreting and recording this song. It was a real challenge from the outset, but one we enjoyed and endeavoured to get right. We wanted to make it our own and not just a copy of the original, and we think we have achieved this.”

And Maria Ilett noticed how BBC Children in Need brings out the generosity in people:
“We were really excited to be asked to record a song for a Quantum of covers BBC Oxfords Children in Need album, people have been extra generous when they realised what charity the song was for- Barry and Markus from The Doghouse Studio donated their studio and engineer time! Just goes to show what a much loved charity Children In Need is.”

BBC Children in Need positively changes the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

This theme of this year’s Appeal is Do Something Different and we are asking you to take up the challenge and help thousands more young people, here in the UK, who need our help. Doing Something Different doesn’t mean anything difficult, expensive or scary; it just means something outside of your normal routine which will help raise money.  There are lots of fun, silly and unusual ideas in our BBC Children in Need Fundraising Pack. For more information go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey or call 0345 607 3333.

Remember, for every penny raised, a penny will go towards projects helping those in need. We couldn’t do it without you, so a big Pudsey thanks in advance!

iTunes — “A Quantum of Covers”

Cover songs, especially of Bond tunes, are always interesting to listen to. Even if you buy this, and don’t like it, you’re still contributing to a good cause. If you buy this, and do like it, then I suppose it’s a win/win. I’ll definitely check it out, as it’ll make for a good piece to add to my Bond soundtrack collection. Plus, I like the idea of helping the Children In Need organization.

If you’re not interested in the music, but feel like being generous and helping out the organization, here’s their site link: 

Children In Need